Will my home run on a battery?
Although technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace (rate), powering your home solely with (Renewables, plus storage,) a solar or wind battery is still a rather futuristic wish.
Many customers ask us if their home could potentially run entirely off the battery, and unfortunately, the answer is no (or, at least, not yet). Many homes are able to run on a battery for some time of the day, but for most UK homes, going off-the-grid completely is not yet possible.
There are several factors that make going off-the-grid a complex matter. For starters, AC coupled batteries require an inverter to convert the DC, stored within the battery, to AC, to power your home. Most inverters require a certain voltage, in order to kick in. Therefore, during days where the generation is particularly low, it’s possible that the inverter will need a bit of energy from the grid, to start converting electricity in the battery. It may be a nominal amount, which you wouldn’t necessarily notice, however without it, the battery may not work as effectively, or at all.
The average UK home uses around 4,000 kWh/year and a home battery that is large enough to store that amount of electricity and fully power a UK home would cost somewhere in the region of £10,000. That’s a sizeable investment for any homeowner. If such battery was being cycled multiple times per day and used regularly, the degradation would be very rapid, meaning the savings made from using renewable energy wouldn’t last for long. Worse still, few battery warranties will cover degradation or loss of performance due to over cycling of their battery.
Seasonality is another big challenge for solar-powered homes. On a summer’s day in mid-August, the battery may be able to charge fully, but in January or February there wouldn’t be enough daylight to generate a lot of solar energy, negating the benefit of free electricity all-year-round. When the dark days of winter return — the time when we use the most electricity — powering a home solely off the battery becomes even more difficult.
But not everything is so dire.
The upcoming solar battery solution
At Moixa, we are driven to find the most innovative solutions that would make sense in a modern world. Our award-winning smart technology allows homeowners to cut their electricity bills, reduce carbon emissions and improve energy security.
Speaking to customers on a daily basis, we see that there’s still a lack of understanding about the best practices of solar systems and battery storage. Although it sounds like a straightforward solution, running a home off a solar battery fit with the current technology isn’t always the most economical solution. That’s because on most days, you won’t be able to generate enough energy to fill a larger battery, and if you do fill and cycle the battery regularly, it will degrade very rapidly, especially if the discharge rate of the battery is high.
So, what can be done?
Moixa’s Smart Battery is designed for a typical UK household, taking into account all the factors, such as seasonality and the average electricity consumption, that play a role in determining the battery’s efficiency. We aim to keep a low charge and discharge rate, ensuring the battery lasts longer and generates much more consistent savings throughout the entire year.
Information correct at the time of publishing.